Georgia Transportation Builder - Fall/Winter 2012 - (Page 14)

The reforms in MAP-21 will make federal surface transportation investment more efficient, transparent and accountable A Transportation for State tionary aid to local jurisdictions. This process began in some states in FY 2012 but is likely to intensify in 2013 and 2014 as the gap between state highway needs and resources grows ever larger, resulting in many having to finance a larger share of their highway improvements. Programmatic changes in MAP-21 could also have a significant impact. Most notable is that MAP-21 has a much simpler program structure than SAFETEA-LU. While SAFETEA-LU contained dozens of programs, each authorizing the expenditure of federal funds for a specific kind of highway improvement, MAP-21 aggregates them into four programs that give states much more flexibility in how they use their federal highway funds. Specific SAFETEA-LU programs affecting local governments are now largely gone, including the High Risk Rural Road Program, the Safe Routes to Schools Program, the Recreational Trails and Scenic Byways Programs, and the Transportation Enhancements Program. In their place, MAP-21 transforms these into eligible activities within the existing Highway Safety Improvement Program and a new category of “Transportation Alternatives.” While MAP-21 requires states to spend at least 2 percent of their federal highway funds on Transportation Alternatives, the total is about $300 million less per year than the total for these programs under SAFETEA-LU. By Pete Ruane, President and CEO, ARTBA AFTER NEARLY THREE years and nine short-term extensions of the federal highway and public transportation programs, Congress completed action in June on a two-year surface transportation reauthorization bill. President Obama signed the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) into law on July 6. It stabilizes federal surface transportation investment through FY 2014 and makes a number of policy reforms that will impact all parts of the transportation community, including state and local officials. While many of these policy matters involve changes to the 2005 reauthorization measure, SAFETEA-LU, program structure and have long been sought by most transportation advocates, we cannot overlook the impact on local governments that will result from MAP-21’s reduced level of federal funding for highway improvements in FY 2013 and FY 2014. Federal funding for highways peaked at $41.1 billion in FY 2010 and FY 2011. In FY 2012, Congress reduced funding to $39.1 billion. MAP-21 increases this slightly to $39.7 billion in FY 2013 and $40.3 billion in FY 2014, reflecting projected infl ation. In states where a share of federal funds is suballocated to local governments by formula, they will automatically receive less in 2013 and 2014 unless the state fills the gap with its own funds. Other states may try to make up for the reduced federal funding by reducing discre14 | GEORGIA TRANSPORTATION BUILDER

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Transportation Builder - Fall/Winter 2012

Commissioner’s Message
President’s Message
What Now?
Transportation “MAP” for State and Local Officials
Index of Advertisers

Georgia Transportation Builder - Fall/Winter 2012